Back to former Missouri governors
Frederick Bates

Gov. Frederick Bates

  • November 15, 1824 - August 4, 1825
  • Democratic
  • June 23, 1777
  • August 4, 1825
  • Virginia
  • Married Nancy Opie Ball; four children
  • Died in office


FREDERICK BATES was born in Belmont, Goochland County, Virginia on June 23, 1777. His education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later studied law and took a keen interest in classical studies and French literature. Bates first entered public service as the Goochland County postmaster, and then served as the deputy court clerk. He served as an associate judge of the Michigan Territory, was the secretary of the Louisiana Territory from 1806 to 1812, and served as a board member of the land commissioners of the Louisiana Territory. He also served as the Louisiana Territory recorder of land titles; was the acting governor of the Louisiana Territory in 1807, 1809 to 1810, and 1812; and served as the secretary of the Missouri Territory from 1812 to 1820. Bates won election to the Missouri governorship on August 2, 1824, and was sworn into office on November 15, 1824. During his tenure, a road plan from St. Louis to Santa Fe was initiated; and land belonging to Indians was handed over to the state. While in office, Bates became ill and passed away on August 4, 1825. Governor Frederick Bates, who wrote the Compilation of the Laws of Louisiana Territory,was buried in the Thornhill Cemetery, near St. Louis.


Clarke Historical Library (Central Michigan University)

Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

St. Louis County Government

Western Historical Manuscripts Collection (Columbia, MO)

Recent Missouri Governors